The Denver Nuggets are struggling after an 8-1 start to the season. Jamal Murray missed time with an injury, Nikola Jokic was fined, and the team has won just six of their last 13 games. The defending champions are still among the title favorites, but they may need to upgrade their roster before the deadline to make another title run.
Trade season is about to heat up. Most players who signed in the offseason become eligible to be moved on Dec. 15, which will spark the rumors. The Nuggets were recently linked to a sharpshooting wing and will explore the market before the Feb. 8 trade deadline.
If Denver makes a trade, who could go out to match the salary? The Nuggets have multiple players locked in, but a few who could be expendable if the right deal comes along.
Cannot afford to trade: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
KCP is not the most popular player on the Nuggets or the flashiest, but he was crucial to their title run in 2023. The 6’5 wing is an outstanding defender and floor spacer. He does not command the ball or a more playing time. Caldwell-Pope is happy being a 3-and-D wing on a contender.
He has won two titles in the last four years and continues to shoot over 40 percent from 3-point range while playing stout defense. The Denver Nuggets need floor spacers and defenders around Nikola Jokic, and KCP is the perfect fit. He has a $15.4 million player option for the 2024-25 campaign, but do not be surprised to see the Nuggets try to keep him around the Joker long-term.
Denver needs Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but another role player could be on the chopping block if the Nuggets decide to make a trade.